Succession Planning Strategies

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1 Succession Planning Strategies The Right People, for the Right Jobs, at the Right Time November 2006 Underwritten, in Part, by

2 Executive Summary Contrary to popular belief, succession planning is not a new phenomenon. Companies have been wrestling with ways to identify, develop, and retain their talent for decades. So, why is succession planning suddenly popping up on every company s radar screen? Today s organizations are facing higher demands in a global market with the retirement of the Baby Boomers and the widening talent gap. The home-grown and paper-based succession planning that companies relied on in the past is no longer meeting the needs of today s workforce. Companies need to upgrade and redefine their succession planning initiatives to ensure that their process will benefit both the individual and the overall strategy of the company. Despite the numerous benefits of a formalized succession planning process, companies have failed to make it a top priority. In order to achieve results, companies need to start with the basics, create a strong process and then invest in the tools and technology to instill a talent development mindset in their organization. By strengthening the process, companies are gaining support from senior executives, ensuring a performance culture and establishing a company-wide program. Once these steps are in place, companies can then leverage technology solutions such as 9-box models, organizational charts, scenario planning and career profiling tools to reduce turnover, increase productivity and improve bench strength. The data included in this report is derived from a survey conducted in partnership with the Human Capital Institute and interviews with senior executives in the human capital management community. Key Business Value Findings While 74% of companies are investing in a formalized succession planning process, companies still struggle to fill talent pipelines. In an ideal world, companies are looking to grow leaders within their own organization, ensuring that there is continuity for the future of their leadership and reducing turnover. Our study revealed that the most critical drivers for implementing succession planning include: Improve the company s bench strength in key positions Identify high potential early and devise strategies to retain talent Difficulty finding candidates outside the organization Unexpected loss of key leaders Best in Class companies are responding to these pressures by first strengthening their process and then investing in the following succession planning technology: Career profiling tools Performance management Development tools Assessment tools Aberdeen Group i

3 Although it is imperative for companies to leverage technology to drive an actionable succession planning program, 62% of companies still rely on a paper-based solution. (Figure 1) When asked why more companies were not investing in this process, a Program Director at a non-profit health organization responded: Our biggest barrier to automated succession planning: high turnover, resistance by managers, jealousy at development o f certain people and cost of implementation of software. Also, the speed at which decisions are made. Figure 1: Technology Usage for Succession Planning 62% 32% 7% Recommendations for Action Paper-based Partially automated Fully automated and fully integrated Source: Aberdeen Group, September 2006 In addition to the Best in Class actions, companies should also evaluate their processes to ensure they effectively accomplish the following: Educate your company on the new trends in succession planning and instill a strong process to build succession bench strength; Ensure that succession planning is integrated with other processes of talent management including performance management, training and development, compensation, and assessment; Link succession planning to competency management and include a reporting and analytics component; Integrate with career development tools; Automate the succession planning process for greater efficiency and less operational risk; and Develop both a top-to-bottom approach and also a bottom-up approach for succession planning. ii Aberdeen Group

4 Table of Contents Executive Summary... i Key Business Value Findings... i Recommendations for Action...ii Chapter One: Issue at Hand... 1 Teamwork: Technology and a Process go Hand-in-Hand... 2 Driving Forces... 3 Chapter Two: Key Business Value Findings... 5 Succession Planning Challenges... 6 The New Face of Succession Planning... 7 Chapter Three: Implications & Analysis Process and Organization Technology Usage Key Performance Metrics Pressures, Actions, Capabilities, Enablers (PACE) Chapter Four: Recommendations for Action Laggard Steps to Success Industry Average Steps to Success Best in Class Next Steps Featured Underwriters Appendix A: Research Methodology Aberdeen Group

5 Figures Figure 1: Technology Usage for Succession Planning... ii Figure 2: Companies Investing in Succession Planning... 2 Figure 3: Pressures to Invest in Succession Planning... 3 Figure 4: Talent Management Processes Companies are Investing in the Most.. 6 Figure 5: Challenges in Succession Planning... 7 Figure 6: Levels of the Organization Included in Succession Planning... 8 Figure 7: Succession Planning Horizon... 9 Figure 8: Scope of Technology Deployed for Succession Planning Figure 9: Scope of Technology Deployed for Succession Planning Figure 10: Technology Usage for Succession Planning Figure 11 : Key Performance Indicators Tables Table 1: Competitive Framework Table 2: Succession Planning Technology Investments Table 3: PACE (Pressures, Actions, Capabilities, Enablers) Table 4: PACE Framework Table 5: Relationship between PACE and Competitive Framework Aberdeen Group

6 Chapter One: Issue at Hand Key Takeaways 74% of companies are implementing or planning to implement a succession planning program. 62% of companies are still using paper based solutions. Companies need to start with the basics before investing in technology, such as involvement from executives, creating a performance culture, and having a bottom-up approach. Companies are responding to challenges to improve bench-strength in key positions and create a pool of active and passive candidates by placing succession planning as a key retention strategy and by improving leadership development programs. E very CEO and HR professional in today s competitive economy faces two harsh realities in securing a high performing workforce: the retirement of the Baby Boomers and the tightening of the labor market. The message is undeniably clear: companies need to develop their talent in order to compete in a global market. Although one would assume that every company would be a champion of succession planning revamping their process and adopting new ways to fill talent pipelines few companies know how to do it right. Companies still struggle with creating a formal process aimed at identifying, developing and retaining high potential people within the organization. Despite this discrepancy between what companies want to do and what they actually do, the future is not so bleak. The majority of companies, particularly forwardlooking companies, are implementing or planning to implement a formalized succession planning process. Aberdeen s research indicates that only 26% of companies do not have or do not plan to have a succession planning process (Figure 2). A formal process involves a way to identify, assess and develop leadership candidates to potentially succeed current leaders in order to ensure business continuity. Sounds like a simple concept but in reality, succession planning will not happen over night. It takes time, commitment and involvement from every employee from the CEO, to HR professionals to front line managers. Competitive Framework Key The Aberdeen Competitive Framework defines enterprises as falling into one of the three following levels of practices and performance: Laggards (30%) practices that are significantly behind the average of the industry Industry Average (50%) practices that represent the average or norm Best in Class (20%) practices that are the best currently being employed and significantly superior to the industry norm Aberdeen Group 1

7 Figure 2: Companies Investing in Succession Planning 26% 14% 12% Less than 6 months 6 to 12 months More than 12 months 16% 31% None. But budgeted to start within 12 months No completed or planned activity Source: Aberdeen Group, September 2006 Follow-up interviews with some of these customers indicate that many of these companies are in the process of investing in technology as a way to develop their leaders and feed them into talent pipelines. For several of these companies, paper-based and internally developed solutions create an extra headache for various divisions of the organization. As a result, these initiatives end up on the back shelf. In order to save time and increase efficiency, these companies are turning to technology. Sixty percent of Best in Class companies are using an automated or partially automated succession planning system. Teamwork: Technology and a Process go Hand-in-Hand While many of these companies are looking to technology, they need to start with a process. Implementing talent management technology and succession planning tools can help companies overcome some of these challenges by reducing administrative tasks, cutting costs and increasing pools of talent. Although paper based and internally developed solutions require more work and create more operational risks, 62% of companies are still using a paper based solutions and 32% are only using a partially automated solution. Why are companies still unable to let go of succession plans that create more work? The answer is obvious. As a whole, companies have not yet nailed down the process nor developed a fresh perspective of succession planning. In order for the technology to work, companies need to start at the beginning. They need to start with the process. Our home grown succession planning solution was just one extra thing we had to administer... We faced problems with people being ready before a position or the position being ready before the person. - Bill Jackson, HR Director Knowledgebase Marketing 2 AberdeenGroup

8 These fundamentals of succession planning include: Support from the CEO; Build a development mindset in the organization; Approach should not be just top-to-bottom but also bottom-to-top and cross-functional; Align succession plan with the overall strategy of the company; Ensure data-driven decision-making; Develop a learning organization ; and Assess performance culture on a regular basis. There is strong buy-in from the CEO, the Board and management team. These steps must come before the technology. The purchase of our solution was approved by the Board which required selling them on the idea first. Bob Proctor, HR Director Lacera Driving Forces In one way or another, companies face several pressures when looking to improve their process or invest in technology. The pressure is unrelenting for companies in need of finding a new way to fill their talent pipelines. If they want to retain their talent, they need to develop it. Companies have identified the following pressures as having the most impact on their decision-making process: Figure 3: Pressures to Invest in Succession Planning 45% 54% 49% 37% 30% 21% Unexpected loss of key leaders Need to evaluate top talent Difficulty finding successful management candidates Improve the company's benchstrength in key positions Identify high potential talent early and devise strategies to retain talent Reduce the cost of replacing employees Source: Aberdeen Group, September 2006 Aberdeen Group 3

9 Overall, the pressures reveal that companies are struggling with all three components of succession planning: Identifying (difficulty finding successful management candidates, identifying high potential talent early and devising strategies to retain talent) Developing (improving the company s bench-strength in key positions, need to evaluate top talent) Retaining (unexpected loss of key leaders, reducing the cost of replacing employees) In order to be robust enough to meet these demands, the process needs to be an organization-wide approach. In response to these pressures, companies are taking the following actions: Position succession planning as a key retention strategy 50% Acquire automated tools to track high achievers 9% Offer external leadership development programs 28% Offer executive coaching 34% Move employees laterally across the organization 28% Offer mentorship programs 23% Deploy internal leadership development tools 51% These responses indicate that companies still have a long way to go. These companies are struggling with improving the process and in return, only 9% are acquiring automated tools to track high achievers with management potential. Best performing companies are dedicated to the process and enabling technology to make it work. For example, 39% offer executive coaching compared to 25% of low-performing companies. The bottom line is that an effective succession planning program will not magically appear with the inception of the program. Companies face business pressures in identifying, developing and retaining talent that will not dissolve with the purchase of technology solutions. They are starting with the right first step in positioning succession planning as a key retention strategy. These companies need a wake up call to jumpstart their leaders into viewing succession planning as a priority and make a commitment to work on improving the process. PACE Key For more detailed description see Appendix A Aberdeen applies a methodology to benchmark research that evaluates the business pressures, actions, capabilities, and enablers (PACE) that indicate corporate behavior in specific business processes. These terms are defined as follows: Pressures external forces that impact an organization s market position, competitiveness, or business operations Actions the strategic approaches that an organization takes in response to industry pressures Capabilities the business process competencies required to execute corporate strategy Enablers the key functionality of technology solutions required to support the organization s enabling business practices 4 AberdeenGroup

10 Chapter Two: Key Business Value Findings Key Takeaways Companies are prioritizing other talent management processes over succession planning 48% of companies identified lack of succession planning tools and career development tools as their greatest challenge for succession planning New trends for succession planning include roll-out on an organization- wide level, more open systems, and extending the timeframe W hy are companies still failing to make succession planning a top priority? Companies are investing in other processes of talent management over succession planning. (Figure 3) The implication is two fold. First, they will lose high potentials that were identified in the pre-hire stages. Second, they are also risking the success of their talent management initiatives by failing to link them with succession planning. Succession is vital to retaining leadership talent, but in order to achieve these objectives, these programs must have been in place for a long period of time. The initiative and the will to make it work do not immediately correlate to sudden job retention; therefore, many companies do not have the patience to recognize its value. Companies can overcome this obstacle by linking succession planning to other key areas that will make the employee lifecycle a complete experience. Follow-up interviews with end-users reveal that they are looking for a holistic approach to succession planning. Employee performance management and succession planning go hand in hand. Aberdeen s Employee Performance Management Benchmark Report indicated that one of the top pressures for employee performance management (50% of respondents) is we are not preparing enough capable people to fill We plan to implement a performance management system that includes succession planning, learning management and other areas such as assessment and training. - VP of HR, Pharmaceutical company senior staffing and leadership positions. When looking at performance management, companies recognize a clear correlation with succession planning, as plans for succession often occur in the performance management stages. Aberdeen Group 5

11 Figure 4: Talent Management Processes Companies are Investing in the Most 26% 33% 17% 9% 10% 1% 2% Sourcing and assessment Hiring Onboarding Performance Management Succession Planning Training and Development Rewards Management Source: Aberdeen Group, September 2006 Succession Planning Challenges Integrating succession planning with other processes is not the only challenge facing companies. While 74% of companies implement or plan to implement a succession planning program, these companies still confront several challenges to making it work (Figure 5). These challenges fall under two categories: challenges with the process and challenges with the technology. Challenges with making the process work include inability to locate or create a pool of active and passive candidates and lack of interest from senior executives. Meanwhile, lack of assessment tools and lack of succession planning tools and career development tools were indicated in the study as examples of technology challenges. These concerns in succession planning represent a broader challenge in human capital management, i.e., getting the talent needed and addressing the talent requirements for the future. Follow-up discussions with customers indicate that additional challenges with succession planning include lack of support by top management. Succession planning needs to be aligned with the business objectives of the company. CEO and other senior management involvement is a critical step. Succession planning will not become a company wide initiative if the management is not involved and playing an active role in ensuring a more cohesive succession planning initiative. 6 AberdeenGroup

12 Figure 5: Challenges in Succession Planning 48% 38% 38% 33% 38% 33% Lack of funding for leadership development Inability to locate or create a pool of active and passive candidate Lack of assessment tools Lack of succession planning tools and career development tools Inability to identify the future talent needs of the organzation Lack of interest from senior executives Source: Aberdeen Group, September 2006 Top-performing companies face similar challenges in lack of data on competitive salary benefits and lack of funding for leadership development, indicating that integration with HRIS is still a challenge (42% of respondents). However, Best in Class companies are more advanced in the ability to identify talent and in building a strong process of succession planning. Only 35% of the Best in Class identified the inability to locate or create a pool of active and passive candidates as a challenge, compared to 48% of laggard companies. Similarly, only 23% of Best in Class cited a lack of assessment tools compared to 38% of Laggard companies. The New Face of Succession Planning These challenges are not the same as the ones historically facing companies. Succession planning has changed dramatically over the past ten years. New trends are emerging and top-performing companies stay ahead of the curve by revamping their initiatives and altering the way they view their employees. Over half of these companies evaluate their succession planning programs annually, quarterly and monthly compared to the rest of the market that never evaluates their programs or does so on an ad hoc basis. Organization-wide initiative Traditionally, succession planning was aimed at the executive staff. Today it also targets mid-management and will eventually touch every level of the organization from administrative jobs to the contingent workforce. Aberdeen finds that most companies are still focusing on the executive levels in their succession plans (Figure 6). Executive succession planning tends to be emergency driven, reactive as a result of death or an unexpected leave. Today, effective succession planning focuses on consistency and a systematic approach to growing leaders within the company. Aberdeen Group 7

13 Figure 6: Levels of the Organization Included in Succession Planning Executive Mid-level management Exempt workers IT staff Hourly workers Clerical/administrative Contingent 82% 74% 17% 5% 12% 8% 2% 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% Source: Aberdeen Group, September 2006 Covert to Overt In the past, companies felt the need to keep their succession planning a secret from their workforce. Today most companies are informing their employees about their plans and keeping them engaged in the process. Eighty-two percent of respondents are familiar with their succession planning programs. Our process is somewhat reactive but the goal is to move to a more proactive as we formalize the process over time Director of Human Resources, Primavera This change is even apparent from one year ago. Aberdeen s Retention and Succession report from 2005 indicated that 29% of companies were challenged by their company regarding succession planning as a secret process. In today s study companies did not identify covert succession planning as a challenge. Aberdeen believes that companies will continue to inform and educate their employees about the process. Time Frame Length of the program is a key variable impacting both cost of the program and its ultimate success. Extending succession plans beyond six or 12 months will continue to affect companies. In 2005 only 15% of companies were extending it to 3 to 5 years. Today, 27% of companies have extended it to 3 to 5 years and 82% extend it beyond one year (Figure 7). 8 AberdeenGroup

14 Figure 7: Succession Planning Horizon 3-5 years, 27% 6-12 months, 18% 2-3 years, 19% months, 36% Source: Aberdeen Group, September 2006 In summary, succession planning still remains near the bottom of the totem pole for companies compared to other talent management strategies. Companies face challenges both in the process and in the lack of enabling technology. In order to overcome these challenges, companies need to respond to the new trends of the market. Succession planning is no longer covert, it is a company-wide initiative, and the amount of time companies can extend this process for every employee is critical to the success of the program. Aberdeen Group 9

15 Chapter Three: Implications & Analysis Key Takeaways 87% of Best in Class companies are implementing succession planning programs compared to 64% of Laggards 60% of Best in Class companies are using technology compared to 28% of Laggard companies 44% of companies measure bench-strength in their succession planning process A berdeen s Competitive Framework, used in its corporate comparison benchmarking, distinguishes between Laggards, the Industry Average, and Best in Class on the basis of increased retention rates. (Table 1) As a clear correlation exists between companies with formalized succession planning programs and improved retention rates, Best in Class, Industry Average and Laggard companies were determined using this metric. Based on aggregated retention scores, those companies in the top 20% were defined as Best in Class, those in the middle 50% were Industry Average, and those in the bottom 30% were Laggard. As expected, companies in different performance categories show substantial differences. Best in Class companies showed a significant increase in retention rates after implementation of a formalized succession planning program. Our retention rates have increase after implementation of our succession planning process -Senior Management of Mid-sized company In the succession planning process, there are several distinguishing factors between Best in Class companies and Laggards that are enabled by technology: 87% of Best in Class companies are implementing or planning to implement a succession planning initiative compared to 64% of Laggard companies 93% of Best in Class companies are knowledgeable about their succession planning programs compared to 79% of Laggard companies Strategic actions include the following: 39% offer executive coaching compared to 25% of Laggard; 52% offer internal leadership development programs compared to 45% of Laggard; 32% offer mentorship programs compared to 15% of Laggard companies 60% of Best in Class companies are using automation compared to 28% of Laggard companies 10 AberdeenGroup

16 Table 1: Competitive Framework Process Organization Knowledge Laggards Industry Average Best in Class Deployed at site level only Succession planning is addressed as a divisional directive Succession planning is conducted or evaluated never or ad-hoc Deployed at business unit level Succession planning is addressed as a departmental directive Succession planning is conducted or evaluated ad-hoc Deployed company- wide Succession planning is addressed at a local, departmental and divisional directive Succession planning is conducted or evaluated annually, quarterly, and monthly Technology Paper-based, haphazard Succession planning is partially automated or uses disparate parts across the company Strengthening programs so that they are more fully automated and fully integrated with other performance management, development or leadership initiatives Source: Aberdeen Group, September 2006 Process and Organization Best in Class companies ensure that their succession planning programs are proactive through a strong process that targets every level of the organization and the technology that they use is deployed both locally and globally. The scope of traditional succession planning programs is limited to executive levels and although this level is still the main target of succession plans today, programs are also targeting mid-level management (74%). Although there is still a gap between the succession planning programs offered to executives and those offered to front line employees, improvements in the number of companies deploying technology for these initiatives on a company-wide basis and for all employees has improved in one year (Figure 8 and Figure 9). Aberdeen Group 11

17 Figure 8: Scope of Technology Deployed for Succession Planning 2005 Figure 9: Scope of Technology Deployed for Succession Planning 2006 Executives only Top management Line management Knowledge workers All employees Deployed at site level 24% 31% 21% 12% 12% Deployed at business unit level 10% 49% 16% 8% 18% Deployed company-wide 34% 26% 11% 8% 21% Source: Aberdeen Group, September 2006 Technology Usage Although Best in Class companies are leveraging technology to enable their process to be deployed on a company-wide level, most companies are still not using technology. (Figure 10) Figure 10: Technology Usage for Succession Planning 62% 32% 7% Paper-based Partially automated Fully automated and fully integrated 12 AberdeenGroup

18 Source: Aberdeen Group, September 2006 In addition to paper-based systems, 36% of companies are also relying on home-grown systems that create more administrative tasks and operational risks, less consistency and more difficulty coordinating the information and data about the employee and their career. Aberdeen sees the number of companies utilizing technology increasing as companies begin to invest in other business processes that are linked to identifying, developing and retaining top talent. They are also taking strategic actions to improve their overall process for succession planning. Companies are looking for technology that includes : Collection of employee data including career history and skills (74%) Automated corporate-wide succession plans based on data (32%) Analysis of risks, preparedness, and succession scenarios (30%) At present, the barrier (to automating the process) is two-fold. Firstly, the need will only follow completion of the above step and secondly there is presently a cash crisis in the organization brought upon by some issues with a software system some years ago and again government constraints -Director, Education Accurate development plans to enhance employee skills on an ongoing basis (49%) Skill assessment testing (32%) Internal recruiting process that matches potential candidates with the needed skills for planned positions (41%) Organizational charts/replacement charts (54%) Companies have several options for growing their own leaders. In order to be effective, organizational charts are not enough. Best in Class companies look for solutions that include functions such as 9-box models, candidate profiles, performance, competency and development needs and scenario planning to plan for the future needs of their workforce Table 2: Succession Planning Technology Investments Technology Solution Area % Selected Career profiling tools 34% Team Building tools 22% Candidate search tools 24% Assessment tools 54% Development planning tools 53% Performance management tools 75% Source: Aberdeen Group, September 2006 Aberdeen Group 13

19 These tools when used together offer a more powerful succession planning initiative. Succession planning is no longer effective as a stand-alone function. A robust solution will be able to integrate all of these areas as well as areas such as goal alignment and compensation to cover the employee lifecycle. Key Performance Metrics Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are vital in determining how succession planning impacts the bottom line. If organizations are not taking the time to measure the impact of these initiatives, they are unlikely to recognize the organizational value and ROI of succession planning. Since 42% of companies still use an ad-hoc approach to evaluating their succession planning initiative, they need to rely on key performance indicators to provide them with information on the success of their investment. Nearly half of today s organizations are measuring bench strength, i.e., the percentage of key positions for which qualified succession candidates are available ; they also pursue the early identification of prospective leaders. These individuals may be within the organization or also active and passive candidates in the labor market. Additional areas used to measure succession planning include success rate for new executives in replacement positions (24%), employee satisfaction (33%) and number of key vacancies (28%). Twenty-five percent of companies are measuring the amount of reduced turnover and only 12% are measuring the reduced cost of turnover compared to 25% who measured it in This change represents a focus on the quality of the positions and the rate at which they are lost over the cost of losing employees. Figure 11 : Key Performance Indicators We were looking for a product that was tied into competencies and had a reporting and analytics component -HR Director, Mid-sized company 44% 41% 24% 33% 28% 25% Benchstrength Early identification of prospective leaders Success rate for new executives in replacement positions Employee satisfaction Number of key vancancies Lower rate of turnover Source: Aberdeen Group, September AberdeenGroup

20 Surprisingly, the scope by which companies measure succession planning has changed over the past year. In 2005, over half of the companies measured it globally and today the majority measures it division by division. Only 24% measure it solely at a global level. Pressures, Actions, Capabilities, Enablers (PACE) We have shown that there is a clear relationship between the pressures companies identify and the actions they take, and their subsequent competitive performance. All participants should examine their prioritized PACE selections and determine whether there are valuable perspectives to be gleaned by comparison with the PACE priorities of Best in Class companies. Table 3: PACE (Pressures, Actions, Capabilities, Enablers) Priorities Prioritized Pressures Prioritized Actions Prioritized Capabilities Prioritized Enablers 1 Improve the company s bench strength in key positions External leadership development programs Performance management capabilities Automated tools to track high achievers with management potential 2 Identify high potential early and retain those that have it 3 Difficulty finding candidates 4 Unexpected loss of key leaders Position succession planning as a key retention strategy Investing in sourcing and assessment strategies in the pre-hire stages Look for longterm strategic planning Strengthen leadership development and mentorship programs Career profiling and internal recruiting Plan ahead, proactive less emergency driven process Scenario planning that can identify talent early and adjust the needs when changes occur Automated solutions that are competency-based Automated tools that plan for the future and keep talent pipelines filled Source: Aberdeen Group, September 2006 Aberdeen Group 15

21 Chapter Four: Recommendations for Action Key Takeaways Companies need to start with the process before investing in the technology to enable an effective succession planning program. When automating, companies should look for solutions that are competency-based and linked to reporting and analytics component. Companies should integrate succession planning with other processes of talent management. Companies need to use metrics. B est in Class companies want to ensure that the investments that they made in the pre-hire stages prove to be the right investment with a pool of top-performing workers within their organization. In succession planning, the goal of most companies is to grow their own leaders, reducing the rate of turnover and continuously moving people through their talent development pipelines. Companies still struggle with creating a system that ensures that a company will not suffer from a lack of future leaders or business continuity. Whether a company is trying to gradually move its succession planning process from Laggard to Industry Average or from Industry Average to Best in Class, the following actions will help spur the necessary performance improvements: Laggard Steps to Success 1. Start with the process Laggard companies need to start by revisiting the fundamentals of succession planning including support from top executives, alignment with the overall business objectives, and creating a performance culture. 2. Measure performance Laggard companies need to link succession planning with the other areas of talent management to ensure that the right people are performing well in their job and securing their career path at the company 3. Ensure that the succession planning initiative is company-wide Succession planning has changed over the past ten years. It is no longer a reactive, emergency-driven process that targets only executives. Today, succession planning needs to include every level of the organization. Industry Average Steps to Success 1. Perfect the process and then invest in the technology 16 AberdeenGroup

22 Industry average companies need to start with the process and then invest in the technology. They need to have involvement from senior leadership, ensure a performance culture, and create a talent mindset. 2. Review the success of your program to quantify how it affects retention Companies should no longer review or evaluate their program on an ad hoc basis. They should evaluate their programs annually, quarterly, and monthly. 3. Link succession planning with other processes of talent management including performance management and compensation Succession planning is no longer viewed as a stand-alone process. When investing in technology, these companies need to find a solution that is linked to areas such as compensation, goal alignment, performance management, training and development. These solutions should be competency-based and include a reporting and analytics component. Best in Class Next Steps 1. Ensure that succession planning process is competency based and tied into reporting and analytics 2. Use metrics Best in Class companies need to continue to collect the data that validates their status, the ROI of the technology that they invested in, and helps to determine their plans for the future. Aberdeen Group 17

23 Featured Underwriters This research report was made possible, in part, with the financial support of our underwriters. These organizations share Aberdeen s vision of bringing fact-based research to corporations worldwide at little or no cost. Underwriters have no editorial or research rights and the facts and analysis of this report remain an exclusive production and product of Aberdeen Group. Aon Consulting is among the world s top global human capital and management consulting firms. With our 7,500 consultants and professionals throughout the world, we work with small, medium and large organizations to deliver employee benefits, human resources outsourcing, compensation, communication and talent management consulting solutions that fit with broader financial and business goals. Aon Talent Solutions Consulting helps you increase your company s performance through practical and effective selection, assessment, and development strategies for entry-level through boardroom employees. We enhance the value of your people through strategic employee identification, development, and talent management based on carefully researched, performance-based competencies. For additional information on Aon Consulting: Aon Consulting, 200 East Randolph, Chicago, IL , or Insala is a leading global provider of web based software for organizations implementing career development and talent management initiatives. The highly configurable Insala Solution Suite delivers on human capital strategic objectives to: Support Succession Planning Processes; Develop, Re-deploy, and Retain Top Talent; Deliver Career Development Initiatives to Employees; Support Effective Performance Evaluation Processes; and Implement Downsizings, Career Transition, and Outplacement. The isuccession module identifies potential successors for incumbents at all levels by enabling organizations to quickly implement and manage a variety of self-service or HRdriven data collection and selection processes. After implementation, isuccession generates reports that demanding executives require. For additional information on Insala: Insala; 1331 Airport Fwy., Suite 313; Euless, TX or 18 AberdeenGroup

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